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Heartof darkness

  1. 1. Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
  2. 2. Heart of Darkness begins aboard a cruising ship, The Nellie. As the crew wait for the tide to turn, Marlow relates one of his inconclusive experiences, as our framing narrator puts it.Illustrations by Catherine Anyango
  3. 3. Marlow retells his encounter with Kurtz, a Europeantrader whose soul has been corrupted by greed. Marlow recalls how he voyaged up an unnamed river to meetKurtz and became traumatised by his confrontation with evil.
  4. 4. A year later he fails to repeat his story to Kurtz’sfiancée and supresses the horror of his encounter.This odyssey haunts Marlow: to use a clumsyanalogy Heart of Darkness is like a talk therapysession for Marlow who tries to work through thishorror in a secure homosocial environment. Heartof Darkness contains biographical parallels toConrad’s own experience of King Leopold’scolonialized Congo, where he contracted malariaand witnessed the nefarious degradation of theCongolese natives, a horror Conrad refers to as hisAfrican Nightmare in a letter to his editor.
  5. 5. Staring into the eyes of evil…
  6. 6. Marlow’s subjectivity-shattering confrontationwith evil can be read as a trauma-narrative…
  7. 7. And a journey through hell

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Summary of Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad.

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